Principal's Blog: Connecting the Dots on Environmentalism

I feel I’ve been inundated for years with environmental messages about how my comfortable/decadent/wasteful lifestyle is contributing to the heating of the Earth and the gradual destruction of mankind.  While I have always known that I should be respectful of creation and a good steward of resources, I was always turned off by the radical nature of the stereotypical environmentalist and had a hard time signing on to that kind of movement.

A couple of years ago Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudatio Si helped to bring the issue of environmentalism into a context that I could relate to a little better.  Our school started a garden to help children get in touch with nature and sustainable food practices.  We began composting food waste at school.  We replaced inefficient windows with new ones.  All of this is well and good, but it still wasn’t personal.

It wasn’t until my amazing wife got me to watch a documentary on Netflix that I began to see how my own personal choices were having a real impact on the lives of ordinary people in the developing world.  The True Cost, a 2015 documentary by director Andrew Morgan, examines the fashion industry and how “fast fashion” has transformed how we shop, think of ourselves, and how our choices have a worldwide impact.  From the psychology of shopping to pesticides on cotton farms in India, this documentary connects the dots on human rights, environmentalism, and consumerism that lead directly back to me.  Our family has changed its shopping habits and as a result are living a slightly more peaceful, minimalist, and meaningful life.

I highly recommend this documentary to every family and high school Christian Education class.

Thanks for reading!